High-grade gliomas and solitary metastases: Differentiation by using perfusion and proton spectroscopic MR imaging

Meng Law, Soonmee Cha, Edmond A. Knopp, Glyn Johnson, John Arnett, Andrew W. Litt

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PURPOSE: To determine whether perfusion-weighted and proton spectroscopic MR imaging can be used to differentiate high-grade primary gliomas and solitary metastases on the basis of differences in vascularity and metabolite levels in the peritumoral region. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-one patients with a solitary brain tumor (33 gliomas, 18 metastases) underwent conventional, contrast material-enhanced perfusion-weighted, and proton spectroscopic MR imaging before surgical resection or stereotactic biopsy. Of the 33 patients with gliomas, 22 underwent perfusion-weighted MR imaging; nine, spectroscopic MR imaging; and two underwent both. Of the 18 patients with metastases, 12 underwent perfusion-weighted MR imaging, and six, spectroscopic MR imaging. The peritumoral region was defined as the area in the white matter immediately adjacent to the enhancing (hyperintense on T2-weighted images, but not enhancing on postcontrast T1-weighted images) portion of the tumor. Relative cerebral blood volumes in these regions were calculated from perfusion-weighted MR data. Spectra from the enhancing tumor, the peritumoral region, and normal brain were obtained from the two-dimensional spectroscopic MR acquisition. The Student t test was used to determine if there was a statistically significant difference in relative cerebral blood volume and metabolic ratios between high-grade gliomas and metastases. RESULTS: The measured relative cerebral blood volumes in the peritumoral region in high-grade gliomas and metastases were 1.31 ± 0.97 (mean ± SD) and 0.39 ± 0.19, respectively. The difference was statistically significant (P < .001). Spectroscopic imaging demonstrated elevated choline levels (choline-to-creatine ratio was 2.28 ± 1.24) in the peritumoral region of gliomas but not in metastases (choline-to-creatine ratio was 0.76 ± 0.23). The difference was statistically significant (P = .001). CONCLUSION: Although conventional MR imaging characteristics of solitary metastases and primary high-grade gliomas may sometimes be similar, perfusion-weighted and spectroscopic MR imaging enable distinction between the two.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-721
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain neoplasms, diagnosis
  • Brain neoplasms, MR
  • Brain neoplasms, secondary
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), perfusion study
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), spectroscopy

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